Channeling the Past: Politicizing History in Postwar America by Erik Christiansen

By Erik Christiansen

After the turmoil of the nice melancholy and global battle II, american citizens regarded to the nation’s extra far away earlier for classes to notify its doubtful destiny. through making use of fresh and rising innovations in mass communication—including radio and tv courses and advertisement e-book clubs—American elites operating in media, trade, and executive used background to confer authority on their respective messages.

    With perception and wit, Erik Christiansen uncovers in Channeling the Past the ways in which robust agencies rewrote heritage to bolster the postwar company country, whereas progressives, communists, and different leftists vied to make their very own types of the earlier extra renowned. Christiansen appears heavily at a number of remarkable initiatives—CBS’s flashback You Are There software; the Smithsonian Museum of yank background, built within the overdue Fifties; the Cavalcade of America software backed by way of the Du Pont corporation; the background booklet membership; and the liberty teach, a museum on rails that traveled the rustic from 1947 to 1949 showing historical files and flags, together with unique copies of the U.S. structure and the Magna Carta.

    It is frequently stated that background is written by way of the victors, yet Christiansen bargains a extra nuanced point of view: historical past is continually remade to fit the pursuits of these with the assets to do it. He offers dramatic facts of refined calculations that motivated either public opinion and old reminiscence, and indicates that americans’ relationships with the earlier replaced as a result.

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